17 Apr 2024 14:40

Tau-Ken Samruk to start production at Shalkiya lead-zinc deposit in Kazakhstan in Oct

ASTANA. April 17 (Interfax) - Tau-Ken Samruk plans to start mining at the Shalkiya lead-zinc deposit in Kazakhstan in October 2024, aiming for 2.2 million tonnes of ore production by the next year.

Chairman Bakyt Chirchikbayev revealed these plans at the MINEX Kazakhstan 2024 forum, mentioning "use of a third-party facility for ore processing while the processing plant is under construction."

Negotiations and assessments for ore processing at external facilities are in their final stages, with details to be disclosed once agreements are finalized. "I can't disclose it at this point, but once the agreement is finalized, I'll reveal the details," he said.

Chirchikbayev provided an update on the construction progress of the mining and processing plant in Shalkiya, emphasizing the procurement of technological equipment.

Discussions about the potential sale of the mine are ongoing, with Tau-Ken Samruk open to selling a controlling stake. "Regarding negotiations with potential partners interested in acquiring a controlling stake, we're open to selling from 51% to 100%. Talks are still ongoing, and it's premature to disclose our co-founder at this stage," he said.

The Shalkiya lead-zinc deposit is one of the world's biggest. ShalkiyaZinc LTD JSC, a subsidiary of National Mining Company Tau-Ken Samruk JSC, oversees its development. Construction of a lead-zinc mining and processing plant began in 2018, utilizing the deposit's resources. It holds around 112.9 million tonnes of ore.

The project aims to meet demand for zinc and lead concentrates in Kazakhstan and globally, with confirmed reserves supporting operations until 2051. The total project cost is $650 million, with $295 million funded by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, guaranteed by the Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund.

Established in 2009, Tau-Ken Samruk JSC manages the state's mining assets under the Samruk-Kazyna state fund.